It Takes a Village

They say it takes a village to raise a child. Well, I'm certain that it is taking a village to raise me. On the eve of Mother's Day, I'd like to reflect on the many people who have mothered (or parented)me over the last 3 decades. Many blogs, including my most recent, sing the praises of my Moe, my numero uno. Second in command is, of course, Andy, who took the baton from my mom 10 years ago. Then, there are all the oher people over the course of time, from my grandmother, my many aunts, uncles, and cousins, my childhood friends' parents, my old boss (he always said he was a big brother but we called him Dad anyway), my college friends, in particular Smitty, who has watched out for me for a long time, and all of my current mom friends who support me daily.

There are a few friends in particular, who ironically don't have kids of their own yet, who have done the most extensive parenting of me: Sara D and Teresa. Teresa, my oldest friend in Cooperstown, has fed me, cheered me up and on, given me honest advice, helped me cook a decent meal, cleaned my house, cared for my children,and stood by side while I birthed one of them. When I am with Teresa, I get that same feeling as when I'm with my mom or Andy; she just makes me feel at ease and at home.

Then there's Sara D. My kids think she is a family member. They ask if she has the same last name as we do. When we get home at the end of the day, they look around for her and call out her name if they don't see her. She's a little bit sister to me, a little bit spouse (she is around so much when Andy travels that Caroline assumes she is his substitute), and a little bit mom. From helping me make dinner, bathing the kids, or changing the smoke alarm, when in need, I call Sara D.

The last two people I'd like to mention are Andy's parents, Deborah and Karl. Sadly for them, they didn't plan on getting another kid when Andy chose me as his partner, but there I was. I was rough around the edges, with a loud mouth and an attitude, but they accepted me anyway. How can I not love Andy's parents? He is a perfect combination of the two of them. Like his mom, Andy is strong willed, passionate, loyal, and anal retentive. (I mean that in the most loving way!) He's a good businessman, has a soft interior under his hard exterior, and a kind, loving manner with our girls, as does his dad. He is smart, helpful, caring and hard working- just like both of them.

I have come to rely on Deborah and Karl for advice of all kinds, from caring for the kids, navigating marriage, inter-personal relationships, and career and financial guidance. Last year, they were able to spend a lot of time visiting us and have not been able to do this this year. Their presence is greatly missed. On a bad day with Andy, the kind of day when I imagine throwing his clothes, chachkis, and his ass, out of the house, I think, "Ah, but I'd miss his parents too much!" I thank them deeply for taking me in, and considering me part of their family.

So, happy Mother's Day to all of you- thank YOU friends and family of past, present and future, for taking care of me and for putting up with me! I love you all dearly.

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